South Jersey Belle

It's all about the attitude.


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Global Running Day

Today is Global Running Day! If you have the time and energy, get outside or even on a treadmill and get a quick run in! I just wanted to write a post about how much running has changed my life for the better and what the sport has done for me.

After graduating from my undergrad-Temple University in 2009 I moved to Florida and this is were my running career started. After about six months in Florida I was not ready to return to the Northeast, but I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I started working in hospitality which allowed me time to figure out what my next move would be. While working in the hospitality industry I met so many wonderful people. This is how I found out about so many races that occur in Florida. I figured if these people were running, I could too. At first it was just something to keep me in shape, but I quickly learned it was so much more than that.  While living in Florida I ran my first 3k, 5k, obstacle course with 5k, and half marathon. Eventually I signed up for other races and began running all over the United States where ever I was and even a race in London.

Running has made me a healthier and happier person. I was never a morning person, sometimes I still struggle with getting up early, but I can attest that running has helped me recognize its not so bad. Running in the early morning when things are still quiet and peaceful is completely enjoyable. I’ve learned I can push past my limits and challenge myself. I no longer believe there’s no way I could accomplish something. If I put my mind to it, I’m going to do it, no matter what it is. If you would have asked me 6 years ago if I would ever run 26 miles I would have laughed and said there would be no way. Now I’m looking to go further and run an ultra, complete a triathlon, and even qualify for the Boston Marathon. There is no better feeling in the world than the endorphins I get after a run.

Running has also taught me it is important to fuel your body properly. My eating habits have improved greatly. As a child I looked forward to my weekly happy meal. Nothing could come between me and my hamburger, fries, and diet coke. HAHA! And those Wendy’s chicken nuggets! I could never get enough of them. Years have passed and I no longer crave that food, but I am always looking for new healthy recipes to try out. I try to educate myself on what foods I should be eating to give myself more energy and recover quicker.

I’ve gone from dreading running to simply being upset if I don’t get a run in. The running community is full of great people who are always willing to encourage and share training info along the way. It’s never too late to change your lifestyle. Get out there and give it a try!

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When your legs get tired, run with your heart.

xo

Leann


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Sweet Treats in San Francisco

This past Memorial Day weekend was spent with Jared in San Francisco. This is one of my favorite cities on the West Coast. It doesn’t matter how many times I visit I always enjoy my time there. This visit included new stops and some old favorites. Jared has shared about our first brewery stop at Southern Pacific Brewery.

Saturday am, our first stop was at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, that can be found in the Nob Hill area. I had done some research and learned that the bakehouse opens at 8am and there is usually a line before the door opens. This is true! We waited at the door and the crowd seemed to gather. We chatted with a local that comes daily to pick 12 fresh pastries for his coffee shop. Mr. Holmes has become famous over his cruffin, a mix between the croissant and muffin, but these require standing in a different line and they are not served until 9am.

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I got baked in San Francisco. So many pastries. We picked four different treats to try. The churro croissant, blue cheese bacon danish, monkey bread, and one of the donuts of the day that had pineapple filling. Mr. Holmes is take out only so we gathered our pastries and took them back to the hotel room. Delish! I should mention, once they sell out the shop closes for the day.

IMG_7677.jpgMy favorite coffee of all time is Blue Bottle Coffee, which has head quarters in Oaklyn. A previous boss told me to check it out on my first visit to San Francisco and it was love at first sip! Even though Blue Bottle Coffee locations are growing this is a special treat for me in California. The long distance love affair continues as bringing the freshly roasted beans home to grind take me back to the West Coast every time I make a cup.

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Finally, one treat that isn’t actually food, a stop at the Timbuk2 factory outlet store! Timbuk2 bags are made in San Fran, established by a former bike messenger. All bags are backed with a lifetime warranty, this bag will probably outlive me!

Take me back to the city by the bay.

xo

Leann

 


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Jobs Fill Your Pocket. Travel Fills Your Soul. 

Traveling for a living is amazing, but sometimes you come to realize you are missing the treasures that are in your own backyard. Growing up in South Jersey my family would take me to the Jersey shore during the summer months. The thing about the Jersey shore; there are so many little towns to visit! Everyone has their favorites for one reason or another. Most of our visits ranged from Wildwood, Ocean City, or Cape May. Now or then my family would chose another area to explore, but not often, you mostly kept to what you knew. It could not have been better timing on Jared’s part to say, lets take a trip to LBI (Long Beach Island). The weather in the city was going to be in the 90’s so on the island it was in the 70’s. Perfect.

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For once I felt like a tourist in my own state because I’m not that familiar with LBI. Long Beach Island can be highly associated with the original location of Ron Jon Surf Shop that opened in 1961! Or in more recent news the when Hurricane Sandy damaged large portions of the island in 2012. The island is separated into six different municipalities.

img_6241We stayed at the Surf City Hotel, which just had some major renovations. The location was perfect as we could walk to the beach, with an entrance on the same block. The second day we grabbed some food at the restaurant bar. The happy hour prices are great. We shared some clam steamers and a pizza or what they refer to as bar pie. img_6216

 

 

 

 

Lunch was Surf Taco. I had heard many great things about this place so I was thrilled to try it out myself. Who doesn’t love tacos? This place does not disappoint, an endless list of types of tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. You can’t go wrong and its BYOB. img_6164

Looking for local attractions, stop by the Barnegat Light House, you can climb all 217 steps if you wish to reach the top!

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For dinner we checked out Northside Bar & Grille. Wednesday night was trivia which we did not take part in, but seemed to draw a large crowd. I had a chicken italiano sandwich and he had the cheeseburger which uses meat from the local butcher-Okies.

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For breakfast- The Chicken or the Egg (or better referred to as chegg), in Beach Haven which was seen on Man vs. Food. The menu has a mix of classic and unique items. I had the Goshdarnwich, one egg, bacon & cheese between two slices of thick french toast, served with a side of maple syrup, served with home fries. Amazing!!!!! What a treat!img_6181

I picked up a bag of coffee from How You Brewin?, a local coffee company in Surf City. Since I had coffee with breakfast I didn’t have a cup there, but just decided to take the LBI blend of beans home to try.

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This island has such a relaxed and welcoming vibe. I’m sure as soon as the summer officially begins the tourists will swarm down. Jared did a nice job of showing me some of his favorite places around the island and what beautiful place it really is. What a great local place for a getaway!

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“Done laid around, done stayed around this old town too long and it seems like I’ve got to travel on” -Bob Dylan

xo

Leann


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Always Wear Your Helmet

This weekend I took part in the Ocean to Bay Bike Ride in Bethany Beach/Fenwick Island, Delaware. With several routes a century (100 miles), metric centric (62.5 miles), 50 miles, 36 miles or 27 miles I originally planned on completing the metric century. I was just recently cleared to ride the bike, but the Doctor didn’t really know the distance I was looking to cover. I haven’t been on the bike since my injury and I knew it was going to be tough. Especially because I clip in and getting out would prove some difficulty for my left foot.  Out of the 62 miles I was able to cover 40. Acceptable. I’m pretty tough on myself when it comes to giving up or in, but I knew if I kept pushing I could set my recovery back further.

The main reason I decided to name this post, Always Wear Your Helmet, today during the ride, which covered some pretty rural roads, a man taking part in the ride was sitting in the middle of the rode bleeding from his head. Thank goodness he had his helmet on, which was severely broken, but it helped to protect him to give him minimal damage. I’ve seen several incidents in the city where a car just clips the back tire of a rider and it causes major accidents. I know wearing a helmet doesn’t look that cool, but it can defiantly save your life. Scrambled brain on the pavement or minor injuries? And just in case you didn’t know the law requires a minimum of 3 feet between a cyclist and passing car (in some cases I know this is impossible).


Safety is always very important when taking to the roads whether it being running or riding your bike. Overall, the ride was nice and the weather was perfect. We couldn’t ask for much better riding conditions, only for my foot to cooperate more and heal faster. I will be back to running as soon as I can!

See you on the road.

xo

Leann


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When Injury Ensues

Well it’s not the end of the world, but when it happened it sure felt like it. After returning from work, I was sent to the doctor. I sprained my left ankle. It is completely swollen, bruised and very sore to touch or put pressure on. I left the doctors office with a boot and feeling discouraged. I was going through a range of emotions, being mad at myself, sad, angry, and extremely frustrated.

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I’m not an elite athlete, but being active allows me to feel like I’m living a fulfilling life. I’ve seen my own growth and progression of improvement. Each week, month, and year I can see my progress and give myself new goals. A large part of my identity is allowing myself the freedom to be active whether it is swimming, biking, or running. When I am exercising I can put aside all of my worries and anxieties and focus on a happier and healthier me.

Now that I am forced to have my foot up and stay off it as much as possible for recovery I am looking at other ways I keep my mind quiet and stay fit. I’ve considered some other exercises to while I can not bike or run. I think I will still be able to get in the pool if I use a pull buoy to keep my legs still and focus on my arms and breathing. Eventually I think I will be able to focus on more core and upper body exercises as long as I stay off my feet.

I am hoping for a speedy recovery as I look forward to my return to running and biking at full force. I’m visualizing the best possible recovery and being healthier than ever! This time off is going to give me extra time to do research and reading on training plans!

Here’s to the future!

xo

Leann


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South Jersey Belle Vlogs

In addition to this blog I’ve started a vlog (video blog)! It is a learning process for me, but the vlogs give supplementary information to what I give here and share more details of my daily life. Here are the two I’ve created so far to catch you up for the time being!

This video I made pre-hot chocolate 15k explaining the race expo

More to come soon! Looking forward to sharing my training and traveling with you all!

xo

Leann


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Jet Lag is for Amateurs, but Fatigue is the Real Deal!

Yesterday I finished my 4 day trip. It wasn’t so bad! I worked with great crews and the crazies were to a minimum (I’m talking about passengers). I had overnights in Las Vegas, Dallas, and Boston. I arrived back in Philadelphia around 9am-Thursday morning. Wonderful, I have the whole day I thought, I can run errands, do laundry, go to the gym, and get myself organized for the weekend (because you know I’m always on the go). Well after getting to my car I was struggling. So tired. Need more coffee. But I already had my normal one cup I usually limit myself to. There was literally and physically no way I was going to stay away without another cup of caffeine.

I stopped at good ol’ Dunkin Donuts before heading to get some groceries. Ok, my second wind kicked in. Grabbed what I needed at the store and headed home. Plan of action, get the laundry started, take a shower and head to the gym. I never even made it to the gym! I did get (most) of my laundry done. After taking that shower I had a pep talk with myself, ok maybe you just need a quick little power nap. I NEVER nap! I had just travelled across the country and back in a span of four days and the time changes and long days literally were kicking my butt.

Fatigue is defined as weariness or exhaustion from labor, exertion, or stress. Jet lag, on the other hand I can deal with pretty well. Monday I wrote I only had a few hours of sleep, but when I got to Vegas I felt ok. I drank plenty of water, took my vitamins, and tried to eat “normal healthy” meals. Every morning I had van pick ups of 5:30 am so that meant getting up super early to be ready, packed, and downstairs. 3 of my 4 flight days were pretty long. 12 hour duty days are tough. Interacting with maybe 600 or more passengers a day.  17 hours of being awake is the equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.05%.  Your IQ is lower and you are easily distracted, both of which are not helpful when working as a flight attendant, as alertness and focus are crucial, especially in the case of an emergency.

As disappointed as I was yesterday that I could not get myself motivated to go to the gym I knew my body was telling my to chill out, which I rarely listen to. As I fully try to recover from this sinus infection it was best that I just try to relax and get back on my normal routine. I’ve got a long run planned for this weekend as the weather is supposed to be beautiful in Philly and pretty sure I have to work at my part time job, while finishing the rough draft of the dissertation chapters. LOL.

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xo

Leann